Due to their ongoing financial woes, it’s looking more and more likely that Barcelona will need to make at least one big sale during the upcoming summer transfer window. There are a number of candidates who will fit this role, including Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen and Raphinha.
At this stage, the one that perhaps looks most likely to leave is Frenkie de Jong. The Dutch midfielder was previously seen as an untouchable player, although it now appears that Barcelona have changed their stance in the last few months, especially after it was reported that he blanked a contract offer from the club.
If Barcelona do decide to put de Jong on the market, they wouldn’t have a hard time generating interest. The Premier League would be a likely destination – Manchester United were previously very close to signing him in the summer of 2022, before a deal broke down in the personal terms stage of negotiations.
However, it’s not Man United that have emerged as early contenders, but rather the free-spending Chelsea. According to Todofichajes, the West London side are prepared to pay €100m to sign the 26-year-old, which is likely to be in the ballpark of what Barcelona deem as an acceptable offer.
Due to their financial problems, Barcelona will be aiming to get as much as possible for de Jong, should he be the one that is selected as a possible departure. While they will demand a very high price for someone that is widely considered to be one of the best midfielders in the world, they do not hold all the cards.
This is because de Jong’s contract is set to rise from next season as a result of deferred wages that he is owed. It would make him Barcelona’s highest earner, and perhaps understandably, the club is uneasy about paying these out for the next two years. That is a reason why he may be sold this summer, as it would allow the Blaugrana to save a fair amount of money, while also (likely) receiving a massive transfer fee.
However, because of this scenario, there would be a degree of desperation, which interested clubs could be aware of. As such, this could force Barcelona into accepting an offer lower than they would hope – but, de Jong will have two years left on his contract by the time the summer rolls around, so they’re not exactly in a bad position either.
€100m would probably be a price that Barcelona accept, should Chelsea indeed offer that much for de Jong. In terms of the current squad, his sale would make the most sense, because of the other midfield options currently in the first team – now, it just remains to be seen whether a sale does actually happen.